In Beijing, at least 5,000 pets were found dead left in cardboard boxes last week at a logistics facility in Central China. Reports state the death of rabbits, guinea pigs, cats and dogs had been held in plastic or metal cages wrapped in cardboard boxes with holes for the animals to breathe.
According to CbsNews, the animals were the products of the mass breeding industry in China. Only a few hundred were saved. None of the animals had any access to food or water and had been at the facility for a week.
The shipping company Yunda stated it was not aware of the incident, but that its staff did confirm they permitted live animals to be shipped in boxes with airholes.
“The station was cluttered with express boxes with thousands of animals that had already died, and the entire place reeks of rotting bodies,” stated Sister Hua, the found of the animal rescue group Utopia. “It was like a living hell.”
The animals died of suffocation, dehydration and starvation.
Chinese law prohibits the shipping of live animals in normal packaging. Hua suspects the pets had been purchased online, but were left at the logistics warehouse because of delays.
“Miscommunication inside the shipping company and the inconsistency of the implementation of shipping regulations directly led to the tragedy. Of course, both buyers and sellers bear the responsibility, too,” continued Hua.
Two hundred rabbits and 50 dogs and cats survived and have either been transported to veterinarians, shelters or have been adopted.
The public is calling on Chinese authorities to ‘strictly enforce” laws that are not being enforced.
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